Palm Oil Posts Biggest Weekly Gain in Six Months as Exports Rise

Palm oil posted the biggest weekly gain in six months as a weaker ringgit increased prospects for exports from Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer.

The contract for delivery in October swung between gains and losses of at least 0.4 percent on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives before closing little changed at 2,257 ringgit ($693) a metric ton. Futures rose 3.4 percent this week, the most since the five days ended Feb. 1, rebounding from the lowest price since October 2009 reached on July 26.

Palm oil shipments from Malaysia gained 5.3 percent to 1.39 million tons in July from a month earlier, according to SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. This compares with a 24 percent drop in the first half of the month and a 6 percent decline in the first 25 days of July, SGS estimates show. The ringgit posted its biggest weekly loss in more than a month after Fitch Ratings lowered Malaysia’s credit outlook to negative.

“The weaker ringgit coupled with a stronger exports data toward the last few days of the month boosted sentiment and suggested that lower prices have been successful in attracting demand,” said Ivy Ng, an analyst at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd., by phone from Kuala Lumpur. “The trend is cautious. Production in August may drop a bit as workers may be taking some time off for the holidays, but come September there are concerns that production may pick up again.”

Indonesian markets are closed the whole of next week, while Malaysia will be shut on Aug. 8 and 9 for Eid holidays.

Soybean oil for delivery in December advanced 0.2 percent to 42.99 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for November gained 0.5 percent to $11.9825 a bushel.

Refined palm oil for January delivery climbed 1.7 percent to end at 5,506 yuan ($898) a ton on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. Soybean oil gained 0.3 percent to close at 7,034 yuan.

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